In Pro Plan LiveClear, Purina has presented what they consider to be a breakthrough in helping people who are allergic to cats. It is estimated that about one in five people are allergic to domestic cats and many are prevented from adopting a cat because of their allergy. Others suffer from a cat allergy but love cats and live with them. They manage.
The online news media and PoC covered this last development last July. It is a cat food which contains an egg-based component (anti-Fel d1 IgY) which reduces the amount of the cat allergen Fel d1 on the cat’s fur by around 50%. It seems to partially neutralise the allergen, a protein, which is deposited on the fur when the cat grooms.
Purina tell us that the egg product ingredient contains antibodies to Fel D1 which bind to the allergen preventing it from triggering an allergic response in cat allergen sensitised people (people allergic to cats). We are also told that it will be on the shelves in April 2020.
Comment: It is not a 100% effective product but a big advance. Will it work with the general public as promoted? It is certainly a great money spinner for Purina because it is a holy grail of the pet product industry to fix the ‘I am allergic to cats’ problem. Potentially billions of dollars in sales awaits a business which can provided a solution.
Theoretically, it could increase the number of cat guardians in the US considerably if a sizeable percentage of the 20% of people who are allergic to cats now adopt a cat for the first time.
We await the public’s assessment. We’ll know but there may be a placebo effect. A part of being allergic to cats is in the mind it is said and if these people believe in this product there may be a placebo effect which makes the product more efficient.
The last point to be made is ‘how good is this cat food from a nutritional standpoint?’. It has to be a good cat food as well otherwise it won’t sell. Purina are not famous for their cat food quality in my opinion but I won’t prejudge this food.